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PTSD in Children and Adolescents

Edited by Spencer Eth, M.D.
Series Editors: John M. Oldham, M.D., M.S., and Michelle B. Riba, M.D., M.S.

  • ISBN 978-1-58562-026-5
  • Item #62026

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PTSD is a recently named psychiatric condition that unknown before the publication of DSM-III in 1980. The creation of this diagnosis was intensely controversial, and there continued to be considerable reluctance to apply the term to children. The 1985 landmark volume, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Children, edited by Spencer Eth and Robert Pynoos, helped establish the validity of this condition during childhood. Now Spencer Eth has edited PTSD in Children and Adolescents, a work that brings the field of childhood trauma in to the new century by offering fresh insights on five major topic areas in child and adolescent PTSD:

  • Techniques for comprehensive evaluation—details recently developed diagnostic instruments and rating scales that measure the variety and severity of traumatic symptoms in children and adolescents.
  • Forensic aspects of traumatized children—surveys legally pertinent issues, including abuse, reliability of traumatic memories, and credibility of child victims.
  • Juvenile offenders and incarcerated youth—examines the role of trauma in the lives of juvenile offenders, noting that the victimization of delinquents must be specifically addressed in order for an integrated approach to treatment to achieve effective rehabilitation.
  • Biological treatment strategies—systematically reviews the important role of medications for PTSD in clinical practice, including such topics as biological dysregulation, target symptoms, and the inclusion of drugs into the biopsychosocial treatment plan.
  • The relationship between exposure to trauma in childhood and the development of psychiatric disorders in adulthood—presents current research on the long-term prognosis of traumatized children and adolescents by analyzing the association between early traumatic exposure, biological substrates, and subsequent symptomatic morbidity.

Mental health practitioners and trainees, as well as attorneys, pediatricians, and school personnel, will find this thoroughly annotated volume an invaluable roadmap in their journey toward understanding PTSD and discovering more effective treatments for traumatized children and adolescents. With its eclectic perspective and interdisciplinary format, this exceptional reference will also enhance courses in developmental psychology, social work, and education.


  • Contributors
  • Introduction to the Review of Psychiatry Series
  • Introduction: Childhood Trauma in Perspective
  • Chapter 1. Evaluation and assessment of PTSD in children and adolescents
  • Chapter 2. Forensic aspects of PTSD in children and adolescents
  • Chapter 3. PTSD in children and adolescents in the juvenile justice system
  • Chapter 4. Biological treatment of PTSD in children and adolescents
  • Chapter 5. Relationship between childhood traumatic experiences and PTSD in adults
  • Index

About the Authors

Spencer Eth, M.D., is Professor and Vice-Chairman in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at New York Medical College. Dr. Eth also serves as the Medical Director of Behavioral Health Services at Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers located in New York, New York.

[T]his volume helps organize what is known for clinicians and forensic experts looking for a single reliable and up-to-date text.—Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 4/1/2004

This is a very well written comprehensive review of the latest information on PTSD in children. It is useful as a manual for clinicians and can greatly aid trainees as well as experienced clinicians. There are not many books in this area that provide an objective review of the latest research in such a concise manner.—Doody's Health Science Book Review, 4/1/2004

Dr. Eth and colleagues address critical issues in our understanding and treatment of children and adolescents exposed to traumatic events. From evaluation to biological treatment and forensic assessment, this volume will be valuable to clinicians and teachers alike.—Robert J. Ursano, M.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Director, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress

The field of developmental psychotraumatology is in its infancy, but it is a steady, thriving infancy that is growing and developing rapidly. Dr. Eth and co-authors have undertaken an ambitious project by reviewing this field as it stands today. The last similar volume was published 15 years ago, and it is a pleasure to see how far the field has come and how many questions have been answered since then. Many questions remain, but the field has attracted skilled investigators, researchers, and clinicians, many of whom have contributed fascinating chapters to this volume skillfully edited by Dr. Eth.—Elissa P. Benedek, M.D., Diplomate Psychiatry, Subspecialty in Forensic Psychiatry, ABPN, Diplomate Forensic Psychiatry, Amer Board Forensic Psych, Diplomate Child Psychiatry, Amer Board Child Psych

A full and complete review of PTSD with up-to-date information on standardized assessments, biological approaches, courtroom aspects, and long-term effects. Recommended highly for those just entering the trauma field as well as for those experienced workers who need to find new information all in one place. Spencer Eth has done a bang-up job putting a number of trauma experts together to make sense of childhood PTSD.—Lenore C. Terr, M.D., Clinical Professor of PsychiatryUniversity of CaliforniaSan Francisco, Author of Too Scared to Cry and Unchained Memories

This volume, edited by Spencer Eth, professor of psychiatry at New York Medical College, features chapters by a number of well-known authorities in the field. Making use of up-to-date sources and avoiding much of the ideological 'preachiness' of earlier materials, the contributors cover the important areas of assessment, biological treatment, and forensic dimensions of PTSD among children and adolescents.—Joshua Mark Ph.D., Psychiatric Services, 4/1/2004

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